Monday, December 24, 2007

previous entry | main | next entry | TrackBack (0)

Your unambiguously good news of the day
In South Korea, once one of Asia’s most rigidly patriarchal societies, a centuries-old preference for baby boys is fast receding. And that has led to what seems to be a decrease in the number of abortions performed after ultrasounds that reveal the sex of a fetus.

According to a study released by the World Bank in October, South Korea is the first of several Asian countries with large sex imbalances at birth to reverse the trend, moving toward greater parity between the sexes. Last year, the ratio was 107.4 boys born for every 100 girls, still above what is considered normal, but down from a peak of 116.5 boys born for every 100 girls in 1990.

The most important factor in changing attitudes toward girls was the radical shift in the country’s economy that opened the doors to women in the work force as never before and dismantled long-held traditions, which so devalued daughters that mothers would often apologize for giving birth to a girl.

Choe Sang-Hun, "Where Boys Were Kings, a Shift Toward Baby Girls," New York Times, December 23, 2007.

posted by Dan on 12.24.07 at 12:09 AM


Again and again, one is struck by the correlation between the rapid pace of human sociological evolution over the past two centuries and the entry of women into the industrial workplace. Quite literally in the 21C, where women are still not gainfully employed in industrial work, the local culture can only be described as 'backward' in education, health care, politics and economic policy.

posted by: a Duoist on 12.24.07 at 12:09 AM [permalink]

This is good news not just for baby girls and their families, but for international security in the entire region, as detailed in an important recent book by Valerie Hudson and Andrea den Boer, entitled "Bare Branches: The Security Implications of Asia's Surplus Male Population."

Should be required reading for security strategists of all stripes.

posted by: Diodotus on 12.24.07 at 12:09 AM [permalink]

Post a Comment:


Email Address:



Remember your info?